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News Items – February 23, 2023

Johanna Thomas is a member of NASW-AR:
Effort to merge 4 state boards into newly created mental health board fails to clear committee

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Johanna Thomas, a former president of the National Association of Social Workers’ Arkansas chapter, said the bill would likely create a bottleneck in the licensing of more than 10,000 licensed mental health professionals. She urged lawmakers to either vote against the bill or to remove the Arkansas Social Working Licensing Board from the bill.

Stephanie Ash is a student member of NASW-OH:
Ohio House Republicans Introduce First Batch of Anti-LGBTQ Bills of 2023
City Beat
In a hearing last year regarding these required disclosures, concern was expressed about how this would violate the code of ethics of many school staff. “Such disclosure would disrupt therapeutic rapport and possibly jeopardize clients’ safety,” said Stephanie Ash of the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. “Such breaches in confidentiality will also interrupt successful clinical processes which rely heavily on trust and rapport and will dissuade youth from seeking essential mental health services.”

Alan Misbach is a member of NASW-UT:
Bill that would change how social workers are licensed in Utah advances to the Senate
Licensed clinical social worker and Utah Valley University professor, Alan Misbach shared concerns during public testimony in the Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting Wednesday, telling members Utah has already had issues with social workers licensed through an existing alternative pathway. “The alternate path is already problematic in that we have social workers without proper training or qualifications, who are making some of the most vital decisions regarding child abuse,” he said. “This will further endanger the citizens of Utah by taking away the qualification exam.”

Molly Alvord is a member of NASW-PA:
How to Handle an Emotionally Immature Parent
Controlling parents tend to set unrealistic standards for their children, and can be punitive when they don’t measure up. Emotional parents tend to have very volatile mood swings, vacillating from one extreme to another. Rejecting parents tend to push their children away, while passive parents tend to avoid confrontation at all costs—even to the point of neglecting their children’s needs. Although it helps to define emotionally immature parents by type, “it can really be a mixture,” said Molly Alvord, a licensed clinical social worker with Thriveworks. Whatever their immaturity looks like, for their adult children, it becomes about breaking the old patterns of dysfunctional behavior.

Amanda Greubel is a member of NASW-IA:
Letter to the Editor: Bill limiting gender affirmation would endanger Iowa’s youth
The Observer
I am writing to raise awareness of HF 180, a bill currently under consideration by the Iowa House of Representatives. (The same language is also included in Senate Study Bill 1145.) HF 180 states that schools may not take any steps to affirm the gender identity of a student without written permission from that child’s parents or guardians. This bill only applies to students who are transgender, meaning that the gender they identify with does not match their sex assigned at birth.

Marcus Wade is a member of NASW-TX:
Special Report: Breaking mental health barriers in the Black community
Marcus Wade, a Tyler licensed clinical social worker and chemical dependency counselor, said there aren’t many Black Americans in the mental health industry. “Looking at the successes of the number of people that are African American descent, doing counseling, may they be licensed professional counselors, or social workers in general, or just addiction professionals there are maybe 4%,” said Wade with Marcus Wade Counseling Service.

Nellie Parrish is a member of NASW-VA:
Parrish works to ease mental health strain in our community
The Kenbridge Victoria Dispatch
As emergency rooms are filling up around the state with behavioral health cases, a new employee at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) hopes to create a safe space for patients struggling with their mental health. Nellie Parrish, a licensed clinical social worker, of Victoria, has 14 years of experience in mental health and has worked in home health, a private practice and at community service boards.

Marc Herstand is executive director of NASW-WI:
Evers asks for more staff to speed up processing of professional licensing
Wisconsin Public Radio
The proposed staffing boost is badly needed, said Marc Herstand, who leads the National Association of Social Workers. He says he’s heard from social workers who are deterred from working in Wisconsin because they can’t afford to wait for extended time periods before they get the credentials needed to start a job. “Social workers aren’t independently wealthy,” he said. “They really need to go to work quickly, because they don’t have a lot of money in savings” 

Angela Paoli is president of NASW-VT:
Angela Paoli: Let’s not be a destination state for child marriage
VT Digger
States all around the nation are passing laws to ban child marriage. New York, where in the last 20 years there have been thousands of child marriages, just raised the age of marriage to 18, with no exceptions. So did Massachusetts, which passed it unanimously. If Vermont does not do the same, we will be at risk of becoming a destination state for child traffickers and child marriage. As an organization aiming to achieve social justice, the National Association of Social Workers, Vermont chapter, wishes to ensure the quality of life and safety for all children by establishing a legal marriage age of 18 years. No exceptions, no confusion, no coercion. We urge our legislators to vote yes on H.148.

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